By Ryan Velez
Opportunity can come from the most unlikely of circumstances, and a skilled businessman like Jay-Z is likely well aware of this, considering his history. Black Enterprise reports that the firestorm of controversy surrounding Harvey Weinstein may be to Jay-Z’s benefit, with him considering a possible investment in The Weinstein Company following Harvey’s ousting from the company that he helped found.
Weinstein’s troubles started with the New York Times breaking a story that the producer had made s*xual advances to some of the biggest women in Hollywood, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Ashley Judd. Some women who refused his non-consensual advances said that the Academy Award winner used his substantial clout to sabotage his career. Three women accused him of rape as well. Weinstein’s ousting from The Weinstein Company means that the question of what happens to his 23% stake in the company.
This could make some sense, considering that it isn’t Jay-Z’s first time working with the Company. In 2016, Jay-Z signed a two-year deal with TWC that includes a first-look deal at film and TV projects. In fact, he worked with Harvey Weinstein himself to produce Time: The Kalief Browder Story, a six-part documentary that premiered earlier this year. Upcoming productions with Jay-Z and The Weinstein Company include an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights; a miniseries about Trayvon Martin; a program exploring American race relations hosted by Jay-Z; and a biopic about comedy legend Richard Pryor.
TMZ, who first floated the story, say that Jay-Z would be coming together with other investors to buy the stake, and he “wants his relationship with the company to continue and grow.” However, nothing is set in stone. Fox Business countered by saying that their sources report that any rumors of Jay-Z looking to purchase the stake are false. Jay-Z himself has made no statement regarding this, but considering the negative spotlight on Weinstein, this is little surprise.
In response to the allegations of sexual assault, Weinstein released an apology, telling the New York Times: “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” He added that he will take a sabbatical and is working with therapists to “deal with this issue head on.” This is likely of little comfort to those affected by his alleged crimes.